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Mahpiya Ska (Sioux language) or White Cloud is an albino female buffalo residing at the National Buffalo Museum and Cultural Center located in Jamestown, North Dakota. She is currently on loan to the museum and the project caring for her is funded by the City of Jamestown North Dakota for approximately $10,000 per year. She has been certified a true Albino American Bison.
White Cloud, like most albino buffalo, is almost totally deaf and has limited vision and joined the herd located at the museum in 1997. She has already given birth to several calves, although none of them are pure white. Native Americans from all over America perform sacred pilgrimages to visit her. She is allowed to roam freely within a several hundred acre expanse of the museum grounds.
The fence outside of her compound in Jamestown is tied with hundreds of prayer and ribbon bundles from Native Americans who travel thousands of miles to offer prayers and receive blessings.
According to "Buffalo Tales", the newsletter of the North Dakota Buffalo Foundation and the National Buffalo Museum, White Cloud had a white calf on August 31, 2007. According to the newsletter and the museum's website this was White Cloud's first white calf. Museum officials determined that the calf is a male, but it would not be named until January 2008. The museum is solicited suggestions from the public for a name for the calf until November 30, 2007. Finally, the name Dakota Miracle was decided on. While Dakota Miracle is white, he is not albino like his mother.
White Cloud was born on July 10, 1996 on the Shirek Buffalo Farm in Michigan, North Dakota. She was DNA tested for albino genes and cattle genes before she went to the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, North Dakota in May 1997. The results of those tests indicate that she is pure albino and also pure bison (commonly known as buffalo.) It is not known for sure whether or not White Cloud's white calf is also a true albino. The white calf was produced when White Cloud mated with her first male calf, a normally brown-colored bison.
- City of Jamestown
- National Buffalo Museum
- At National Buffalo Museum, rare white bison call pastures home, with photograph. From Cowboys and Indians, October 2009, by Keith Norman.